How often do you stop and reflect on the things you have to feel grateful for?
Feeling gratitude can be tricky. We face challenges every day, and it’s normal for even the most content people to forget to find pleasure in the small things. Know that if you struggle to maintain a present and positive mindset, you’re not alone.
Like any habit, creating space to appreciate life’s upsides takes practice. And some moments will be easier than others. But it’s worth it — without intentional gratitude, it’s too easy to fall into an endless cycle of frustration, negativity, and regret. But with patience and self-compassion, you’ll soon catch all the ways your day is going right instead of hanging up on fleeting ill feelings.
Learning how to practice gratitude is essential for wellness-focused professionals like coaches. Not only is it a tool you can share with clients, but it’s also a way to practice self-care. After all, you deserve to feel fulfilled and happy in your career — and a burnt-out coach doesn’t benefit clients or themselves.
What does it mean to feel gratitude?
Practicing gratitude means finding things you are thankful for, no matter how large or small.
Maybe your coffee came out just right this morning, or you drove home during a stunning sunset. Acknowledging how you appreciate these bright spots is an act of intentional gratitude. Of course, this also means celebrating big wins, like earning a hard-fought promotion or finding a new hobby. But it’s often easier to remember to cherish those moments — it’s the little things that slip through the cracks.
You can also practice gratitude by recognizing the importance of your interactions. Others play an essential role in improving your day: Perhaps your partner brought you that perfect cup of coffee in the morning, or a great conversation at lunch with a coworker lifted your mood. It’s all about striking a balance between appreciating both others and yourself.
The benefits of practicing gratitude
Gratitude is a wonderful way to brighten your day. But did you know it can also help you feel better? That’s right: There’s science behind gratefulness. It’s been proven to boost your mood and even improve physical health.
We’re all familiar with the importance of a good night’s rest. Well, research has shown that gratitude can improve your sleep, which supports your immune health, allows you to think more clearly, and reduces your risk for serious health conditions.
And when you’re looking for things to be thankful for, you’re more likely to seek out positivity and stay in the present. These feelings can improve your mental well-being and help you:
- Regulate difficult emotions
- Reduce your stress
- Find pleasure in the ordinary
- Enjoy the moment
- Make lasting positive memories
- Feel generous
- Overcome loneliness
5 ways to make room for gratitude in your life
There’s nothing wrong with saying “thank you” — aloud or internally — when something goes right. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many ways you can demonstrate thankfulness in day-to-day life.
Here’s how to be grateful in five simple ways:
- Keep a journal: Spend time writing in a daily gratitude journal before bed. Jot down specific events you appreciate — recalling even small moments makes a difference. The idea is to reflect on all the good in your day and encourage positive thinking. Research shows that people who keep track of things they feel grateful for feel greater satisfaction and happiness.
- Turn challenges into opportunities: It’s easy to reflect on the past and think negatively about obstacles we didn’t plan for. But you are the person you are today because of those moments — so sometimes it’s best to embrace them. Reframe those challenges as opportunities in disguise. While it’s important to acknowledge difficult times, try to see the value in their outcomes.
- Acknowledge others: When you notice how other people enrich your life, let them know. This could be in a letter of gratitude or face-to-face — whatever the case, you’ll make them feel good by reminding them they’re appreciated. And like journaling, taking the time to meditate on these instances will help you feel better, too.
- Practice mindfulness: It’s easy to become wrapped up in anxiety about the future or past failures instead of staying in the present. It can even happen with positive moments, like remembering a particularly relaxing vacation or focusing on an upcoming event. Coaching yourself to practice mindfulness allows you to focus on the now and reminds you of the good in each day. Try to revel in the sensations you enjoy, like walking in the sun, taking a bite of decadent chocolate cake, or chatting with a friend.
- Share your gratitude: Set a positive example by sharing your thankfulness with others. As the people around you grow more positive, it will become easier to make gratitude a habit. It can be as simple as sharing a picture of a beautiful view or posting about a loved one’s birthday and telling the world why this person is so important to you.
The benefits of being grateful (for coaches and clients)
Coaches get into the field because they’re natural teachers, givers, and motivators. But that doesn’t mean they don’t learn from and feel inspired by clients.
This is why coaching is a non-hierarchical act: We don’t tell clients what to do, we guide and support them on their journeys. In turn, clients bring their own knowledge, skills, and awareness to the table. It’s important to be grateful for the reciprocity of these interactions. Practicing gratitude in coaching can:
- Make clients feel even more seen, heard, and safe
- Stimulate empathy on both sides of the conversation
- Improve clients’ self-esteem by reminding them how much they have to give
- Help coaches learn new perspectives
- Keep coaches feeling inspired by and invested in their work
Build better client-coach relationships with Practice
Understanding the importance of being grateful is an essential part of coach-client relationships built on mutual respect. You’d be surprised how much this small act can improve client satisfaction — and lead to positive reviews and referrals.
As you grow your business, it’s essential to stay organized. Practice’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform is specifically designed to assist coaches like you with storing client data and documents securely. You’ll also gain access to templates, a booking platform, and safe and easy payments, all of which can take some work off your plate.
And if you’re looking to brush up on other coaching skills, Practice’s blog is an excellent (and free) resource. Learn how to build up your communication, improve business relationships, and keep client interactions healthy. Or, work on your stress management, patience, active listening, and emotional intelligence.